How to teach your kids to use common sense
How to teach your kids to use common sense
Teaching your kids to use common sense is one the most valuable things you can do for your them. It’s really sad to see so many people today that completely lack common sense.
The truth is that kids are being raised without this simple yet important aspect and it will hurt them in the long run.
Working with teenagers throughout the years has made me realize how much education is lacking in their homes. I’m not talking about books, but basic life lessons that we pass on to our kids and that help them create a solid foundation. It seems to me that as the years go by, we see less and less kids using common sense.
Parents are raising kids that think they are entitled to everything,🙄 kids that can’t do anything because their parents do everything for them. Absent parents that let their kids be raised on their own. Kids being raised by tablets and phones. A society that doesn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. These and many other problems have contributed to the lack of common sense in our society.
Get an early start
Some kids are street smart by nature, other kids learn the hard way by the way life has treated them and others just don’t have a clue. As parents, we have been given the responsibility to guide our kids, to teach them and equip them so they can be successful. The earlier, the better!
- Read to your baby. When you read to your babies, you are giving them an advantage in life. Their little brain is developing like crazy just by looking at those pictures and hearing you read. Books not only help kids learn how to read but it also helps them with problem-solving, develops their language, enhances memory and boosts their analytical thinking among other things.
- Exploring is another must for building common sense. As long as you keep them safe it is good for them to explore new things, grab bugs, taste dirt, let them knock things down, this is the way they learn.
- Talk to your babies, they are like little sponges and they absorb everything, get the communication going from the early days. Make sure you also learn to say no to your baby.
- Say “no” to them, this is the introduction to boundaries.
- Introduce manners, they are never too young to learn to say thank you and please, ma’am and sir.
- Continue reinforcing the steps we already went through while they were babies.
- Establish boundaries. No means no.
- Let your kids know that everything we do has a consequence. There are good consequences and bad consequences. For example; if they pick up their toys, then, they can watch their favorite tv show. If they have a temper tantrum, then they are going to have to sit down in time out.
- This is a good age to introduce overall safety: stranger danger, fire drills, weather drills, traffic lights and who to call during an emergency. How to dial 911, when to it, what to say, etc.
- Start practicing their full name, address, and phone number. When my kids were little, I turned our address and our phone numbers into songs, that way it was easy for them to learn them. We used to sing them often, I wanted to make sure that they knew their information.
- Introduce decision making. This one goes hand to hand with consequences. Teach them to make good choices.
- Don’t do everything for them. It is good for them to have a little independence and figure out how to get things done on their own.
Introduce how our actions affect others. Learning that the world does not revolve around us is very important when we are trying to teach our kids to use common sense.
- Even little bitty kids can do chores, like picking up toys and wipe the table down. Chores teach kids to be responsible and a productive member of the house.
- Teach your kids to speak up when something is wrong or if they feel uncomfortable.
- Instill self-worth and value in them to develop a strong sense of self-esteem.
- Teach them not to get offended at things that others may say or do.
- Continue working on all the prior steps with high emphasis on manners and respect.
- Make chores a part of their life.
- I highly encourage rewards. This doesn’t mean that they will be rewarded for everything they do. Some things will need to be done just because they need to be done. A few things here and there need to be rewarded. Rewards teach kids that working pays off. My kids have their chore list that they need to do, but they also have the chance to make some money when they help do the yard or they read a certain amount of books.
- Let them make mistakes. There are things in life that you will only learn by making your own mistakes. We are not talking about things that will hurt them or anything like that. Just simple mistakes that will help them learn and grow.
- Introduction to work ethics. It is never to early to teach your child about work ethics. Just simple things like: be on time, turn in your work on time, do a good job on everything you do, work hard, when you commit to something you finish it, have integrity.
- Serving others. When kids get used to serving others, they are more likely to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and make better decisions based on that.
- Be a good example. You are the model your kids are going to follow, so be the person you want your kids to be.
Teach them to control their emotions. Our emotions can get us in big trouble. Learning to control our emotions helps us think, using common sense.
- Guide them. Be there for them to give them advice and guide them but at the same time let them have more responsibility. For example: don’t bring their homework to school if they left it at home, let them deal with the consequences, (it’s ok to do it once and give them a warning). They have to be responsible enough for their school work.
- Let them play outside. There are so many good things that the kids can learn just by being outside with their friends. Just make sure you know who they are hanging out with.
- Give them a planner for them to write down schools projects, test, etc. This will help them be accountable.
- Show them how to use tools (screwdriver, hammer, drill, etc.) and how to do simple fixes around the house.
- Teach them how to choose the right friends.
Teach them how to deal with bullies.
- Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are amazing for their overall growth. There are so many good traits that the kids can learn there. One of my boys is in Cub Scouts and I highly encourage parents to have their kids join a troop.
- Teach your kids to always be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to details.
- Sadly, but in this day and age, it’s good for us to teach our kids about school shootings and what to do if they find themselves in a situation like that.
- Practice “what would you do” scenarios with your kids. You would do this not to scare them but to prepare them as much as you can so they can survive if they find themselves in a dangerous situation. For example “what would you do if you were lost in a store?”
- Pornography, drug abuse, puberty, sex, internet safety, sexual abuse are some of the most important things you need to be teaching your school-age kids. You know how it is, if you don’t teach them, then someone else will.
Be mindful of their age and maturity level and explain things in a way that they can understand. As they get older you can explain better and with more detail about all of this stuff.
At this age, everything that you have taught you kids has created a strong foundation for them to stand on.
- Keep reinforcing all the stuff you have already taught them.
- Don’t hold their hand, let them walk on their own but be present to guide them and to give much-needed advice in this difficult time.
- Talk to them about relationships and choosing a person that is going to be a blessing for them.
- As hard as it is, let them make mistakes. They will learn, they will grow but be there to teach them to move on.😞
Focus greatly on work ethics. Train your kids to be the employee that you would like to hire.
- Teach them to do more complex jobs around the house. How to change a tire. To try to find solutions to everyday problems.
- Involve them in decision making and make their vote count.
- Start talking to them about their future and how their decisions affect their future.
- Make them accountable for letting you know where they are at all times and with who.
- Keep encouraging self-worth.
- Teach them to use common sense, which is all the knowledge they have gathered together throughout the years to make wise decisions.
Personally, I think having a relationship with God is essential for a solid foundation. I can’t see ourselves raising our boys without the guidance of The Lord. He is our rock.
Teaching kids to use common sense is not something that you can accomplish in 1 day or 1 week. This is a task that takes years in the making. But don’t be discouraged my friend. Start where you are, the important thing is to get started. Your kids will thank you for it.
If you want to read more about raising boys check out this post. If you would think of something important that I should add to my list please let me know in the comments. Have a blessed day my friends!😊